I have to admit I didn’t want to like this album. I was not at all happy with the fact that Kenny Chesney was producing the album. Preconceptions are often wrong. That is a lesson I have learned in my life, and this is one example of that lesson. This is definitely one to have for all Willie fans. What makes this album good is the man himself; in spite of Chesney and not because of him. By this I am referring to the overproduction this album suffers from on a few songs. In particular the opening song “Over You Again.” Some other Twang bloggers like Twang Nation and the 9513 have speculated this song sounds like they were trying, unsuccessfully, to go for a Daniel Lanois sound. Well Mr. Chesney I have heard Daniel Lanois and you are no Daniel Lanois. For proof if this break out Teatro and listen to what Lanois accomplished with Willie and compare the two. One more criticism before I get to praise. The choice of the Big Kenny penned “The Bob Song” was terrible and the production was pretty cheesy too.
This album has far more high points though. The understated title cut written by Kris Kristofferson is stripped down and powerful. The Dave Matthews song “Gravedigger” is an innovative arrangement. To be fair, Chesney deserves a lot of credit for that. “Worry B Gone” is a Guy Clark song that makes for a good duet with Willie and Chesney. Although the Clark version only says a “puff of that Worry B Gone,” the duet version has Willie puffing and Chesney sipping. I guess Chesney’s soccer mom fans can’t handle the fact he might have inhaled. If the witty “You Don’t Think I’m Funny Anymore” doesn’t make you laugh then you have no sense of humor, especially if you are male and married. The album ends on a powerful and transcendant note with a rendition of Dylan’s “You Gotta Serve Somebody.” So while this album has its flaws, it is still a Willie Nelson album, and in the end that is all that matters.
Willie sings Moment of Forever
This review also appears on Amber Waves of Twang
About the author: Chip and his family live in Birmingham, AL. Roll Tide!